My name is Ben Hawcroft, and I'm actually working full-time as an Apprentice Mechanic instead of studying at university. I currently drive a 1995 Nissan 200SX S14 (Zenki) in Nissan Flame Red.
How long have you had the car for?
I bought the car in June, 2017. I was lucky enough to buy it from a mature driver who got it from a dealer 14 years prior with 100,000 KMs on the clock. I bought it with 250,000 KMs at the time for $10,000 - probably the luckiest I’ll get in my motoring life time considering how most of the S-Chassis cars have either been ruined or written-off.
What do you like or dislike about the car?
I really like how these cars are cheap when it comes to parts. It was a part of the reason I chose it - the cost of parts and the huge aftermarket capabilities were endless. They’re also easily modifiable, making easy power, and improvements in handling etc. Whatever you want you can achieve with these, whether it’s straight power, a track machine or a drift toy. I love the sheer versatility of the car with its abundance of power, ability to handle track nicely and kick out the rear end when I want. It’s predictable and just what I was looking for. The only major downside is the amount you get picked on in these cars. Due to the fact that they’re often the subject of street drifting, burnouts etc, they make you an automatic target for police. Other issues would only really include the age of the car, and having to replace all the old worn parts. Otherwise, I don't have many other problems with the car.
What modifications have you made to the car? Any favourites?
I personally have only done cosmetic work to the car, I bought it making the power it does right now (being 210kW @ 18PSI, peaking at ~5500RPM). I purchased the car virtually stock looking, only with some Enkei NT-03’s as any real visual modification. Currently, the car is undergoing a fresh paint job with a new OEM kit; it also currently has a Nardi steering wheel and two fixed back Bride bucket seats inside! Other than that, I’ve just been maintaining and running it around - as it’s my daily, I've been looking more for reliability than huge power. My favourite modifications would be the wheels and soon to be finished Navan/JDM Kouki kit!
How does the car drive and handle?
I’ve had a few people drive my car, both on the street and at the track at Wakefield Park. Many have said that, for what it is (and what they expected), they were really surprised at how well it handles. I find that it handles nice and predictable in nature. Whether it be sticking around corners or even trying to release the rear end a bit, it’s something you can easily control and work with. In terms of power, it’s got enough to be fun and not too much to be annoying on the street and for daily use. Should this become a car I drive less frequently (be it finding a cheap daily/riding daily) I don’t plan to have huge power, no matter my choice of engine down the line (being around 300-350KW).
Have you had any problems with the car?
Surprisingly, with the amount of bad things I’ve heard in terms of Silvia’s/SR’s, I’ve been pretty fortunate. I’d say it's mainly been down to me not bashing it daily but also due to the prior owner being so caring of it. Apart from the usual things expected from an old car such as mounts, bushes and general maintenance (clutches, brakes etc), it’s been absolutely fantastic. However, I can’t say this would be the case for a lot of these cars unfortunately.
What are your plans for the future with this car?
Huge plans, and only time and money to stop me. I’m currently in the process of fixing up the kit, getting a Navan front bar, JDM Kouki rear bar and valences to finish the exterior. I'm keeping my interior as is, tidy and not over the top with gauges or controllers etc. In terms of engine work, I’ll either keep the SR or eventually put in an RB. Keeping it Nissan and easy!
1995 Nissan 200SX S14 Zenki
Price guide: $14,000 with approx. 150,000 on the odometer
Body: 2-Door Hatchback Coupe, 4 Seats
Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Engine: 2.0L 4-Cylinder Petrol Turbocharged SR20DET
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual (as reviewed)
Power: 147kW @ 6400RPM
Torque: 274Nm @ 4200RPM
0-100km/h: 7.5 seconds
P Plate Legal: Yes